Shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, the Newton Fire Department responded to a call at 514 S. Third Ave. E. where a house had caught on fire. Additionally, after the initial response, Kellogg and Baxter Fire Departments also responded to the blaze.
According to Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik, the call moved to a second alarm which prompted the response from the Kellogg and Baxter fire department. Wellik said the house was approximately two and a half stories and possibly used a apartments at some point.
“We had a fire in the upper floor of the property ... The fire was mostly on the top floor,” Wellik said.
Wellik said there were no injuries from the fire and according to neighbors, no one was living in the property and there was a for sale sign in the yard. Neighbors did say there was activity there from time to time.
“They (neighbors) said there was frequent activity there where people had been in an out. So we assume there could have possibly been squatters there, but we don’t have any proof of that,” Wellik said.
The damage to the house was extensive, Wellik said. Due to the nature of the fire being on the upper level, the water was running down throughout the rest of the structure which caused water damage throughout the rest of the home.
“It was pretty bad. The roof was burnt off,” Wellik said. “Whenever you have a fire up high like that the rest of the property sustains really heavy water damage ... I would say the house is a total loss.”
The fire took approximately four hours for crews on scene to extinguish and was cleared around 1 a.m.